tv Newsmakers CSPAN July 28, 2013 10:00am-10:31am EDT
they would come up as close as they could and then go into an assault, which meant they would send squads and they would come charging up it did not matter how many casualties they took. those who went down were followed by a new wave. they had no weapons. they just picked us up. by force of numbers, they kept trying to push us out of our positions. they say it was one hell of a fight good >> commemorating the
60 -- 60th korean war.of the american history television every weekend on c-span three. isour guest on "newsmakers" senator ron wyden. he is a member of the house intelligence committee. he has been a critic of the national security agency and its scope of data gathering. we invited him because there has been so much going on including aimed toouse vote that somewhat curtailed the nsa and its data gathering methods. congressionala reporter for "the washington t."t your cod
>> of them one of the most vocal opponents. in march you raise the red flag for many of us when you wrote a letter with senator udall. americans would be stunned to know the extent of summit this government ease dropping. is before edward snowden came out and revealed many of the details of the telephone and internet surveillance programs. were these two programs the extent of what you and senator udall were talking about or have they not yet been disclosed but you think americans would be stunned to learn about? you are not allowed to tap the truth out in morse code for these rules. i do have to stick to what senator udall and i have stated
on the public record. ien i did indicate that thought the public would be stunned and angry when they learned how the patriot act was being interpreted, i was talking about the bulk collection of the phone records of millions and millions of law- abiding americans. with respect to other approaches, what i can say is under the patriot act the government's authority to --lect is limite limit his list limitless. >> based on that, in what other areas do you think americans should be most worried when it comes to survey land -- surveillance and collection? >> i am concerned about the fact that the government will not state really what the rules are with respect to tracking
americans on their cell phones. repeatedly athis public hearings and the intelligence committee. the government official position is first they have the authority to do it. they said they are not doing it now but they will not spell out the rules today with respect to the rights of americans with respect to cell phone tracking. >> let me ask you about some of the authorities. this week the house defeated a proposal that would have banned the telephone collection under the nsa program. where do you see this debate going from here? do you expect it to continue considering the congressional leaders support these programs and polls show that americans are very deeply divided on whether or not they should give up some of their security protections? >> the polls have done an about-
face in a matter of weeks. we always joke you only go a long with this but they are moving your way. a genetic shifts and that itry seal is a violation of their liberty. i think that is what you saw on the floor of the house of representatives. i think it is especially important to note there would not even have been a big debate on the floor eight weeks ago. sou would not have had 200 vote for fundamental changes. this debate is definitely going to continue. the bipartisan approach that i and senator udall have been part of when the democrats and republicans trying to revise section 215 to ensure that when you try to spy on a person you have got to have some avid and that they are suspected of
terrorism. that is the bottom line. have atherwise, to dragnet surveillance where you vacuum up everyone of the phone records, who people call, when they called, where they called from, it will become increasingly unpopular. >> let me ask you a quick blowup. are you concerned about some of the sweep of the internet collection as well which were not covered under section 215? what are you doing to curb that authority? >> we are trying to gather data with respect to those issues. a few minutes ago, and i have not had a chance to review it, we got a response from general clapper to the strong letters sent by 26 united states senators that goes to a number of the issues. we will have more to say about that next week third >> just to narrow it down, you solve the
bipartisan support in the house this week as part of a defense appropriations bill. are you working on a similar proposal with democrats and republicans? quite i am definitely working democrats and republicans to overhaul this program to magically. there have been a number of discussions already. senators on both sides of the aisle. the discussions have accelerated sent that extraordinary house vote. we also have a quarter of the united states senate on record saying they are very interested in pursuing certainly the issues that are central to this debate. that is the reason we insisted on finally getting the answers. you are going to see a very strong and bipartisan effort in the senate to pick up on the work of the house and to fix a problem that i inc. in the
sl intrudes on the privacy and liberties and millions of law-abiding americans. >> under what way would you do that? saidw dianne feinstein they are working on. i will not rule out any possibilities. depending on how the leadership might want to construct it, it is possible they would like to of thediscussion of some other issues and reserve and opportunity for us to raise our bulkrns about the collection programs. there are a variety of ways we will pursue it. we want viewers to understand this until it is fixed. >> you mentioned one thing earlier. it was about cell phones. you were concerned about how the government is collect information.
most people are carrying a telephone device that can make calls, send text, and surf the internet. it should americans be concerned that all three are being tracked or just the calls? cannot get into the details of any specific operation or whether it is being did. . will -- conducted i will indicate that having that computer in your pocket thatases the potential certainly people could be tracked 24/7. when the fbi director says in public forums when we have asked and asked repeatedly what are the right of law-abiding americans with respect to cell phone tracking, you cannot get an answer. there is reason to be concerned. >> i would like you to respond to a series of quotes from chris
christie talking about the nsa debate. he calls these esoteric debate about privacy. to newthem to come jersey and sit across from the widows and orphans and have that conversation and they will not. it is a tougher conversation to have a. stressing this may not seem so principled after the next attack that comes killed thousands of americans as a result. >>
i think the idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive is just wrong. i think it is possible with sensible public policy to have both. that would be the first kind of message that i would convey. in a number of these areas, we want to make sure that when it relates to national security and that means keeping intelligence operations secret, we're going
to do that every step of the way. that is different than keeping the law secret. there is a difference between secret operations which have to be protected to adjust those issues that governor chris christie was talking about and secret law.
that is not what our system of government is all about. that is why we saw this in the how to. and millions of law- abiding americans are saying the idea of vacuuming up these phone records, who recalls, where we , laying bare our personal lives to the scrutiny of government bureaucrats and contractors, is not with the country is about. what we want them focused as people who are suspected of terrorism. >> picking up on the governor's point, let's say the tracking
program is abandoned and then there is some kind of high terrorist attack. you know that several are going to say that because you abandoned this that is what made us more vulnerable. scaling this back, how can you assure americans that they can still been -- be protected if it did
not exist? we have done, and we have been very specific is that we would like the government to describe what is the unique value of the collection of all of these law-abiding americans that you can not get with the quite sweeping emergency of ortiz and court warrant processes? quarantines and court
have been started long ago by elected officials and not by a government contractor. when there is an individual who has been charged criminally, i do not get into commenting beyond that. >> the government has said if he wants to claim whistleblower status he should have gone to some of the legal procedures to do that before he released some of these documents. whistleblowers must first go through congress. you have been unable to talk about some of these details because they are classified. how can someone like edward snowden legally go through the proper steps to become a whistleblower if members of congress cannot do that themselves? is not my business to legally advise someone other than my position is to always tell people to comply with the law.
i do think that what we have seen, and senator udall and i have gone to great lengths to comply with the rule, indicates that you can make a difference. last year we got declassified fourth amendment have been violated. there's no no question that it is a challenge. we did the flasher when we were able to strike from a so-called -- strike it when we were able to strike the so-called penalty. we are able to stand up for the with a veryne challenging set of classifications. >> one very fast follow-up on something you had said earlier about the danger or awareness that americans could be tracked
by the government by having a mobile phone in the pocket. are these granted by the pfizer court as well? >> i cannot get into anything with respect to pfizer decisions. theyf the reasons that want to declassify the legal analyses between these decisions it would shed some light on these questions. publicly discuss the decision with respect to cell phones. >> did you see the report friday analyzing the decisions made by these judges and where that served on the court were originally? what did you make of it? they have been officials. more often than not they are siding with requests that are made with them. i i want viewers to know that
think in many particulars this is anachronistic. they are using processes that fit the time. passed inisa court the 70s and no one envisioned some of astounding region that the courts has gone to with respect to the patriot act and its definition of relevance. nowhere does this suggest that you could collect the phone records of millions and millions of law-abiding americans. i think there are a couple of keys to reforming the fisa act. that is to change the fact it is the most one-sided legal process in the united states. i do not know if any other that does not
highlight anything except one point of view. whenmake the point that the executive point of view is dominated by the thinking of a new judge, you have a pretty combustible mix. >> they said the appointments are the purview of the chief justice. would you change that system? >> there are a number of approaches that ought to be looked at. there are shifts talking about making this from senator approval. senator blumenthal has some interesting new ideas that i ofnk could diversify some the thinking on the court. i am interesting in following up with both of them. >> i wanted to ask you about the confirmation process. hasecent days sene
finally confirmed if you president obama's cabinet picks. he is likely to confirm three new members. senate has locked itself to the edge of the cliff and did not change the rules on do youconfirm nominees, still want to see a change in the rules or do you believe things are fine? there has been a lot of progress in the senate. i am hoping to continue our track records. we are trying to bring in efficiency bill to the floor of the senate. thate able to recognize this is not the end of the debate. withfeel my colleagues respect to a requirement that you should stand up and deliver
your filibuster and person there should be a requirement that there should be a filibuster utilize that rule. part of the reason there is so much acrimony is there aren't thatsarily those dealers have been there before that dominated the chamber. who would you point to as one of the most influential senators that are able to do that? >> there are a lot of champions of bipartisanship in the united states congress. the real challenges today and why it is so good to be on a show like this is you do have almost ideological television ofch certainly drives much the thinking in this country
it was picks up by the special interest groups and dry some of the financial support. i think what a lot of us are trying to do, and you will see we have not had an energy bill on the floor since 2006. that was before we made .remendous progress in solar i think you will see a lot of centers pick up on the need to beat bipartisan. we are looking at some major ways to strengthen the program, hold down costs by focusing on chronic care. i think you'll see a number of programs that focus on what the country really wants, which is problem solving.
you have to be bipartisan. on the other side of the arld, recently they approved package to the rebellion in syria that is said to include weapons. i am wondering if you support that measure in the committee and whether you think it will do enough to really make any kind of battlefield shifts on the ground? >> i'm getting repetitive. we are not allowed to talk about what is going on. there are a number of key components with respect to what is going on in syria. everyone is troubled i the comments. .- by the comments i think what united states senators want to know is what is the endgame here? he is highlighting the finding that the government believes he
hemore resilient than originally thought. there are components of the policy in syria that i supports, particularly this. you are going to see this in light of the quite sobering statement made last week on the resiliency of mr. assad that it will factor in prominently. >> as you know, the dempsey letter did not bring up the option of aiding the syrian rebels with arms. support giving arms to the rebellion? >> i could see a role for assistance to the rebels. there are a host of questions. who exactly are they? how does it plan?
when you do that, the logical next question is what will be the future step? context ofin the those kind of consideration. i guess this prompted some tough decisions. the senate finance committee told them if they had ideas on inorm they could submit them the ideas would be locked away until 2064. did you submit any? what do you make of this idea of keeping them secret? no one will be, much surprise by my submissions with respect to tax reform. haveell over five years i
been involved in bipartisan approaches for this. it really goes back to the date when rahm emanuel was still in the house and we could not even find a republican sponsored. i have consistently said the from 1986 wetion clean up these tax rates and use the money to hold down rate but the productivity and help middle class. the consumer drive 70% of the economy. we have a paid for tax cuts. it is very much in line with waseconomic thinking that part of his speeches. were there many that wanted their proposals to be kept secret for that long? >> i think what we want to do is
find a way to encourage deliberations. there are lots of new senators joined this. it is quite clear that in the senate they want to make sure that everyone of the hundred senators has a chance to be heard. you joked about some of the ofelligence style shrouding this whole debate. no one is going to be very surprised by what i said because it tracked the bipartisan proposals. we are here. any sense from the white house about when a consensus is coming? >> i have been talking to senators about that. i have had reservations about the concept. i think the evidence is that the
energys going to head to the old coast and then it will be exported to asia. particularly a number of refineries. they are foreign controlled. we are waiting for the decision. i hope particularly this upcoming week you asked about bipartisanship. i think it makes a lot of sense. every senator is supposed to say it ought to start with energy efficiency. we will have a chance to do that. >> thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. he is me ask you whether right in reading the tea leaves. has the sense of congress shifted on this debate? is this an indicator that things are changing? >> he is right.
when some of these first came to people were very quick jump behind the leadership and say we put these in place to protect the american people will. edwardeshow shifted to snowden in terms of whether or not he was qualified to do all of these things. the justice department broke the law. the fact that the house had this debate last week and it was so divided, i think there were only seven votes. that was about 12 separated the yes from the no. >> it was an incredible coalition. it was the most conservative and most liberal members of the house that will come together. governor christie was
critical of the libertarians but this is a place where they actually meet. >> absolutely. 33-year-old michigan libertarian joining up with the 84 euro john conyers, a liberal -- 84-year-old john conyers, a liberal scholar, and they were able to bring together 200 members of the house. 12 did not vote. that could have brought it closer. i think senator wyden is onto something. >> part of the reason this is going on is because democrats and republicans are being approached by democrats and republicans back home who are upset and concerned about what is being done. >> one of the things to keep in mind is that this is a very emotional debate. that means they can swing back and forth pretty quickly and easily. the outcrynow what
would be if the united states is hit with another terror attack. nothing to indicate right now that something is relating. there something happen would inevitably be some sort of outcry of white in the government keep us safe? we had all of these in place. we had all of these reforms supposed to keep us safe after september 11 and they did not. is probablye's reigned for how to find that what thedle between executive branch has an terms of protection in what people who are justifiably concerned about privacy rights are calling for. we have not seen an answer to that. backme people are harking to 75. watch the pendulum has swung. we may be at a point now where there is a little